Farmers self-sufficient in fuel – it’s a dream that’s becoming a reality according to biodiesel specialist, James Hygate.
Having started Green Fuels just over a year ago from his parent’s garage in Cheltenham, Glos, his biofuels business has grown significantly and he is now selling over 20 biodiesel processors each month.
The company has now entered a joint venture with crop processing specialist Alvan Blanch to present farmers across the country with the opportunity to produce their own road-legal fuel.
Alvan Blanch is to provide an oil press capable of crushing 150kg of rape per hour, while Green Fuels will provide the equipment to process the oil and produce biodiesel.
Green Fuels maintains that one tonne of oilseed rape will, when crushed, produce on average 350-litres of oil. The set-up, which includes Alvan Blanch’s new XT150 press and Green Fuels’ processing plant, will produce 300-litres each day and is anticipated to cost in the region of £15,000.
“Although this seems to be a fairly high capital cost, it’s an investment which will easily pay for itself within a year,” says Mr Hygate.
“Those people using high volumes of white diesel have the chance to make some fairly significant savings.” He says he has faced concerns from potential customers regarding the effects of biodiesel on modern engines.
To prove that the fuel is safe and reliable, he has been running a number of vehicles on 100% biodiesel – including a new Citroen C2 – for over 12-months.
“The C2 is fitted with a common rail diesel engine, and we have been running it on 100% locally grown and processed rape-seed biodiesel. “In total the company’s vehicles have clocked up over 35,000 miles using 100% biodiesel,” says Mr Hygate.
Mr Hygate claims that conventional fossil fuels leave a deposit within the engine and when biodiesel is used it breaks down these residues to effectively clean it out.